Friday, December 21, 2012

Hanoi 4 Museums (12/21/2012)

Still Friday, December 21, 2012
After lunch, we were back on the motorcoaches to go to the Hanoi Hilton. Anyone familiar with the US-Vietnam conflict and Senator John McCain knows about the "Hanoi Hilton." This was the first of several disturbing sights we were to see on this trip, and the awful thing is that these things are still happening in our world today.
The entrance to what the French called "Maison Centrale:"
Built by the French starting in 1886 for the incarceration of mostly political prisoners. The Vietnamese called it the Hỏa Lò/Hell's Hole Prison, but because it was on the street of Hỏa Lò selling Hỏa Lò/ovens.
The exterior wall from inside:
topped with shards of glass:
The barred windows are very high up:
Group prison cell:
Smaller cell for dangerous prisoners:
Only 1/3 of the original prison remains and it shows mostly the French colonial era history.
An almond tree where prisoners used the fruit and bark for medicinal purposes and the wood branches to carve pipes or flutes:
It is not clear if this is a section of the actual sewer, or a replica, showing how prisoners escaped in 1951:
A couple rooms show the era of the American POWs. One room, the interrogation room as remembered by prisoners, showed photos and artwork of American POWs in a very positive way, including decorating for Christmas. The other room had artifacts, like the supposed flight suit of John McCain:
A memorial to the prisoners:
The French guillotine (in a room with instruments of torture):
A corridor of cells:
We were glad to be hurried on out of the prison.
A napping rickshaw driver:
A motor scooter parking lot attendant?
Next we were taken to the edge of the city, passing by "The Voice:"
We suspect it is a karaoke venue.
The Vietnam Museum of Ethnology:
It is supposed to resemble a Dong Son drum.
Next door they were putting the finishing touches on the Southeast Asian wing:
A bicycle with bamboo fish traps:
It seems like all the bicycles that were in Vietnam came from China.
There are 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam, only a couple fewer than in all of China. I think they share several of the ethnic groups.
Viet artifacts:
A special exhibit contrasted a village in Vietnam with a village in France. A Vietnamese costume from Yen Bai:
A French costume from Val de Marne:
A hunter's pouch:
A model of a stilt house:
A Hoa bridal costume:
There was a large open-air section of the museum we had to hurry through due to lack of time and losing daylight.
Trying out a "bridge:"
A Ghe Ngo/long boat:
Ede longhouse:
A Bahnar communal house:
Kent climbing the stair-ladder:
Giarai tomb:
You are sent to the afterlife with symbols of fertility:
 Katu tomb:
Gift shop kites:
Tonight we walked across the street to the Press Club with the Viking group for dinner. We had a choice of salads; I went with the "selection of seasonal garden greens with French dressing, herb crouton, egg garnish and herbs" while Kent had the "penne pasta salad with chicken breast, Mediterranean vegetables and balsalmic olive oil dressing." We also had a choice of soups, but both chose "cream of leeks with tomato basil salsa, crispy bacon and chives." I had an entree of "baked filet of sea bass with Provencale crust, Riesling butter sauce and fresh seasonal vegetables" and Kent had the grilled Australian steak with Cabernet Sauvignon sauce, mousseline potatoes and seasonal fresh vegetables.” We had the same dessert of "chocolate ganache cake with vanilla sauce, mixed berry coulis and mint garnish." This was followed by coffee or tea with cookies. Thank you, Viking River Cruises!
Tomorrow, Hanoi 5 Old Quarter.

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